Zafar Bhatti, a pastor from Adiala Central in Rawalpindi, was imprisoned in July 2012 after being accused of sending blasphemous text messages – a charge he denies, stating that the
phone in question had never been in his possession.
Asia Bibi, married with five children, from Punjab province, was imprisoned for blasphemy in 2009 – an allegation she denies. She was held in a tiny, windowless cell for nine years before being acquitted in 2018.
“The influence of a given religion in a nation ought never to mean that citizens of another religion can be subject to discrimination in social life or, even worse, that violence against them can be tolerated.”
- Pope Emeritus Benedict
“There is a very clear sense that people are nervous about the misuse of the blasphemy law, as a tool of politics or “…a mob thing […] ” he added, flanked by two Pakistani bishops. He earlier told reporters: “Equality under the law is important…”
- Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
“The law for punishing blasphemy against the Prophet (sws) that is invoked in Pakistan has no foundation in the Qur'ān or Hadith.”